The Lily is native to the northern hemisphere and has been cultivated for over 3,000 years. It is an incredibly popular flower, popular types include the tiger lily, the oriental trumpet lily, the rubrum lily, the calla lily, the Asiatic and oriental lily. The lily, in particular the white lily, symbolises chastity, virtue and purity.
It has has many symbolic meanings all over the world – for example to the Chinese, lily means "Forever in love". In Greek poetry, the lily stood for tenderness and Feng Shui believers hold the lily as an emblem of summer and abundance. It is also a significant symbol for Christians because it suggests purity – as a symbol of purity associated with virgins the lily became known as the Madonna Lily.
With its strong symbolic meanings the lily has often been associated with having strong medicinal values. In china lilies were served as lucky charms and some were convinced that they were capable of averting the evil eye. One historical account suggests that people were interested in lilies because of their anti-toxic powers and their ability to cure depression. In addition in Europe lilies were often used as a remedy against disease and illnesses right up to the beginning on the last century.
Lilies are a beautiful gift for anyone because of their strong symbolic meaning. They also look fabulous in the home and have a beautiful scent – however watch out for their pollen as it stains clothes and furniture etc. To avoid these stains pick the stamens out of the middle of the just opened flower head. This will also prevent the petals themselves becoming stained.